Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


In filmmaking, dubbing is the process of adding or replacing the voices in a soundtrack for a motion picture. Although dubbing is most common with film, television series are sometimes dubbed as well (mostly popular Hollywood series and serialized Japanese anime that have received foreign distribution). Foreign-language films and videos are often dubbed into the local language of their target markets to increase their popularity with the local audience by making it more accessible.

Dubbing may be carried out at many places in the post-production process.

This process is technically known as Automated Dialogue Replacement, or ADR. Because of the many differences between various languages, especially those which come from different language families, dubbing can often result in the actors' mouths being out of sync with the voice that has been dubbed over it.

The new voice track will usually be spoken by a voice artist. In some countries, such as France, Italy and Spain, these artists are almost as well known as the Hollywood actors and actresses whose voices they dub. Adding or replacing non-vocal sounds, such as sound effects, is the task of a foley artist.

Subtitles may be used instead of dubbing, as different countries have different traditions regarding the choice between dubbing and subtitling. In most English-speaking countries, dubbing is comparatively rare. In the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries, films and television programmes are shown in the original language (usually English) with subtitles, and only cartoons are dubbed. In Portugal this is also the case, but in Brazil, television programmes are dubbed in Portuguese, although films are subtitled.

In some countries, such as Thailand and South Africa, the original soundtrack is simultaneously carried or 'simulcast' on the radio.

On DVDs with higher translation budgets, the option for both types will often be provided to account for individuals' preferences; purists exist for both types of translation. For small markets (small language area or films for a select audience) subtitling is more suitable because it is cheaper. For films for small children, who can not yet read, or not yet very fast, dubbing is necessary.

Dubbing is occasionally used on network television broadcasts of films which have dialogue that the network executives or censors have decided to replace; this is usually done to remove profanity.

A third possibility may be applied, in which performers read the translated dialogue as a voiceover, meaning that the original dialogue is still audible. This often occurs in Poland, where lektory read the transalted dialogue in Polish. On special occasions such as film festivals, live translation is often done by volunteers. See also dubtitle

In music recording, dubbing is where one recording is recorded over, so that the new recording replaces the old entirely.